Canaries are hoping for Lewis windfall
Paddy Davitt Norwich City could land a timely windfall with Portsmouth reportedly lining up a �3.5m summer raid for Peterborough keeper Joe Lewis. The highly-rated ex-City academy youngster has been targeted by the south coast club as a potential long- term successor to England stopper David James.
Norwich City could land a timely windfall with Portsmouth reportedly lining up a �3.5m summer raid for Peterborough keeper Joe Lewis.
The highly-rated ex-City academy youngster has been targeted by the south coast club as a potential long- term successor to England stopper David James.
City officials negotiated a sell-on clause in Lewis' initial �400,000 London Road deal back in January 2008 which could rise to a reported �700,000 if Peterborough reached the Premiership.
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Posh chairman Darragh MacAnthony admitted this week he is braced for close season interest in his England U21 stopper after Lewis' major role in the club's rise to the Championship.
Lewis has rapidly established himself as one of the country's finest young prospects following back-to-back league promotions under Peterborough's astute boss Darren Ferguson.
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The Broome-born keeper's consistent displays have also brought him to the attention of England boss Fabio Capello, with a senior call-up for last summer's friendlies against Trinidad and Tobago and the USA.
“We have great players and it's inevitable that there will be interest in them,” said MacAnthony. “But no-one will leave here without my say-so and that includes the manager.”
The 21-year-old had previously been linked with FA Cup finalists Everton after impressing in Peterborough's rise through the lower leagues.
Lewis has three years left on his current London Road deal, having clocked up 76 appearances since being deemed surplus to requirements by previous Canaries' chief Glenn Roeder.
Portsmouth caretaker boss Hart wants to inject fresh young talent into an ageing squad that has 17 players out of contract this summer.
Pompey's head of youth development had a �500,000 bid for Scotland's newly crowned young-player-of-the year James McCarthy knocked back earlier this week.
Hart is expected to be rewarded with a permanent Portsmouth deal after guiding the club to the verge of top flight safety. The south coast outfit have only lost to Champions League semi-finalists Arsenal, Manchester United and Chelsea since he took over from Tony Adams in February.
City's hierarchy would welcome any cash fillip from Lewis' potential sale after a board meeting this week to discuss the financial ramifications of relegation to League One.
The Canaries will be forced to slash an estimated �8.5m annual wage bill after slipping into English football's third tier for the first time in nearly 50 years. Influential midfielder Sammy Clingan attracted interest from Fulham in the January transfer window but City's squad appears light on saleable assets, with player-of-the-year Lee Croft a free agent when his contract expires next month.